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Signs you should quit your job, part 2
Stress on the job takes an unhealthy toll, but in some cases there are happy endings.
August 2, 2005: 11:33 AM EDT
By Jeanne Sahadi, CNN/Money senior writer

NEW YORK (CNN/Money) – My column last week, about signs you've stayed too long in your job, seemed to hit quite a nerve, judging from the nearly 1 million page views registered and 200 e-mails I've received so far.

(To those who asked: No, I did not have a Web cam trained on your office before writing the article. But thank you for thinking I'm so tech savvy.)

It was a little scary just how many people said not just one sign, but several applied to them.

Just the same, their distress and burnout isn't hard to understand when they write about stress-induced heart attacks and being demoralized by management shifts and restructuring.

One reader, for instance, is planning to quit her job after being asked to take two pay cuts and a demotion to "help out" her troubled employer.

Below is an edited sampling of reader responses:

Other signs you should consider quitting:

  • "When you realize you are more respected outside the company (competition, people you negotiated deals with, etc.) than you are inside the company."
  • "You can't think of one thing that you've accomplished in the past (name your time period)."
  • "When your boss hires an intern to do a best-practices analysis, you start crying while describing your job to the kid."

Health (eventually) beats wealth:

  • "Who cares about money if the job is killing you? I finally recognized that and literally just walked out after 23 years. I was fed up with a micromanaging, arrogant, controlling SVP who made my life and everyone else's miserable. I ended up with a heart condition, but still have my life."
  • "I am a casualty of the 'I must keep going' syndrome. I had a nervous breakdown because of my job and am now on permanent disability. I worked for a Fortune 500 company for almost 15 years. If you were a producer you were writing your own burnout ticket because they just heaped more work on."
  • "I was a slave to my employer for the past 15 years and without any notice was terminated for reasons that were just a joke. However, I now realize that my termination was the best thing. I feel better physically than I have for the past 10 years. My wife wants to send my former employer a Thank You, for giving her husband back to her. She even mentioned that if I had not been fired I would probably be dead by now from the stress."
  • "I had started last year to think I had stayed at my job too long. But I kept telling myself I was just too busy to job hunt, and was convincing myself things were fine -- in spite of the headaches, stomachaches, insomnia, thinking about all the work to get done, trying to figure out how to get along with the new boss, and losing confidence that there may be another job I could do. Well, I didn't listen to myself...I was terminated, and now I am job-hunting and contemplating how I will keep bills paid on unemployment compensation."

Pushed down the ladder:

  • "The new boss took me for granted, putting two people above me. Then she hired someone for a position she said was too junior for me -- and gave that person a title and salary above mine, saying that the new person (who was unemployed at the time) had demanded the salary and title."

Explaining why you quit when job hunting:

  • "When asked during interviews why I'm leaving my current job, I simply say, 'I no longer find it challenging and haven't for a while.' They seemed pleased with this response. If only they knew the real story."

Happy endings:

  • "I was making the classical mistakes you pointed out, thinking my success was tied to the current environment, waiting out three more years for full retirement, etc. I did some quick math and figured that the amount I'd clear taking an immediate early retirement would only be $15,000 less than I was clearing with my $100,000+ salary, and sticking it out another three years for a full retirement would only net $15,000 more than I was clearing. Color me gone!
  • "Word of my retirement got out and I had multiple unsolicited offers to hook up with major corporations as a consultant. Plus, I got another $100,000 salary. "

------------------------

Jeanne Sahadi writes about personal finance for CNN/Money. For comments on this column or suggestions for future ones, please e-mail her at everydaymoney@cnnmoney.com.  Top of page

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